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This large chunk of granite is visible from the Chapman Dam. It is a striking south facing four hundred+ foot ramp directly underneath the Hagerman Pass road. It can be found on some USGS topos as "Hell's Gate". It is possible to descend from above, but the lower approach from the gauging station is easiest. Located about five hundred yards from the road, it is necessary to cross a boulder field on the approach. Bolted routes as well as trad lines ascend the sides and middle of the rock. Debris from the old railroad line can be seen in the talus field to the left (west). Power lines descend from cliff faces to the right (east). It is easily possible to log over a thousand feet in one afternoon without touching the same route on this rock. The three to four pitch must-do gem "Straight Through the Gate's of Hell" ascends the center of the slab using a little gear and mostly bolts.
Approach from Basalt (CO Hwy 82) on the Frying Pan River Rd. Where the pavement ends, take a right on the lower dead end gauging station road. Park on the road in front of the obvious four hundred foot slab. Walk through the meadow and across the boulder field to the rock (approx. 26 miles from Basalt, 3 miles on gravel). Or, take a left where the pavement ends onto the Hagerman Pass Road, a sign says six miles to Hell's Gate. After driving six miles, look for the power lines and descend the slab from above. Or, come over Hagerman Pass from Leadville by way of Turquoise Lake, look for the power lines and descend the slab from above (unknown mileage).
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Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Slab from Hell:
Taliban Blues 5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c Trad, 3 pitches, 350'
Straight Through The Gates of Hell 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Trad, Sport, 4 pitches, 400'
Featured Route For Slab from Hell
Taliban Blues 5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c CO : Leadville : ... : Slab from Hell
P1. Climb up the slab to the first bolt, make a long, awkward move to the flake on the left and then follow bolts up to the crack. Follow the nice splitter (might be some vegetation in spots, as it doesn't see much traffic) as it widens from fingers to fists. Best to move up past the first anchor to the next anchor 20' higher.P2. Follow the bolts up the edge of the face. The exposure in spots is excellent, as the formation drops steeply into the gully on your right. Stop at the obviously belay a...[more] Browse More Classics in CO
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